Posted April 14, 2008 -- Venezuela has given an extra $9 million to the film "Toussaint," a co-production between Danny Glover's Louverture Films and Venezuela's film studio Villa del Cine, reports EUR. However, not all filmmakers believe the money should've been accepted.
The government has already donated nearly $18 million toward the $30 million budget of Glover's pet project about Toussaint Louverture, who led an 18th-century uprising in Haiti.
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But Venezuelan writer-director Jonathan Jakubowicz – whose kidnap drama "Secuestro Express" angered Chavez's government for its hard-hitting portrayal of sociopolitical malaise in Venezuela – says the earmarked money is at the expense of the country's poor.
"In a country with rampant poverty, a catastrophic health crisis and 14,000 violent deaths a year, President Hugo Chavez gives away our money for his friends to play with," said the L.A.-based filmmaker. "I don't know if Mr. Glover's conscience lets him sleep, but he's certainly present in all my nightmares."
"Kemba Smith " Film On the Way
Will Packer, the producer behind "Stomp The Yard" and "This Christmas," has acquired the rights to produce the dramatic real life story of Kemba Smith, reports Black Talent News. Through his production company, Rainforest Films, Packer plans to produce the yet untitled project in 2009.
Kemba Smith, the only child of professional parents, led a protective middle class upbringing in Richmond, Virginia. She had no criminal record prior to going off to Hampton University where she would fall in love with Peter Hall, who unbeknownst to Kemba, was the leader of a $4 million crack cocaine ring and one of the FBI’s 15 Most Wanted. At the age of 23, Kemba was taken away from her newborn baby to unjustly serve 24 years in jail under harsh drug mandatory sentencing laws, which were harsher than that of rape or manslaughter. Kemba, however, was a victim of physical and mental abuse. Being minimally involved with the crimes, Kemba was still sentenced to the full extent of the law. Kemba Smith’s story made headlines in 2000 after Bill Clinton granted her clemency from a 24.5 year drug conspiracy charge.
Will Packer is currently in pre-production on three films, "Obsessed," starring Beyonce Knowles, "Phenom" starring Chris Brown and "Bone Deep" starring Idris Elba and Matt Dillon.